This is a great, easy pie especially for people who only make pie once a year. While pumpkin pie is the traditional pie for Thanksgiving unless you are a fairly experienced pie maker the top can crack and decorations can be under or over cooked. This recipe makes the cracking much less likely and, with a few tricks all the pieces of pie crust will be backed to perfection!
The filling recipe is one I've modified just a bit each time I make it. It's my own now.
Step 1: The Crust
In an attempt to make this pie as easy to duplicate as possible I used pre-made crust (my preference is Pillsbury's). If you choose to make your own crust I can only give a few pieces of advice:
1. Use your food processor.
2. Find a recipe that uses vodka (or applejack for apple pies).
3. Use lard.
For my recipe I did the following:
1. Unrolled my pie crust into my pi pan,
2. The crust needs to reach all the way over the lip of the pie pan and into the "corners" but, don't pull on it or it will shrink when it bakes.
3. Blind bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Blind bake: Blind baking means to back the crust with no filling.
1. Cover the pan with foil.
2. Add pie weights or dry beans to the foil.
3. Put in oven.
Step 2: The Filling: Ingredients
Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
Time: 45 minutes
8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
2 1/2 cups of canned pumpkins
1 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 cup of half and half (evaporated milk can be substituted)
1/2 a stick (1/4 cup) of butter, melted)
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice or ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Step 3: The Filling: Instructions
1. Put cream cheese and pumpkin in your mixer and combine until smooth.
2. Add salt and sugar and mix to combine.
3. Mix in eggs, half and half and butter.
4. Mix in (just to combine) vanilla ban paste and all spices.
5. Pour the mixture into the warm pie crust and then into the oven for 45 minutes.
A few words of advice:
1. If you have an electric mixer I highly recommend the blade that I use. It's called the SideSwipe Spatula Mixer Blade. I love it, love it, love it and, no more stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2. Get everything mixed while the crust is blind baking. That way you can put the filling into the crust while the crust is still warm.
3. Use a crust shield. This will ensure that the edge crust does not over bake.
Step 4: Decoration
1. When the pie is firm pull it out of the oven (45-50 minutes).
3. Put the pie back in the oven for 15 minutes to bake the decorative crust (keep the crust shield on the rest of the pie).
I made templates by printing out an equation I made on Microsoft word. The big pi symbol in the middle is free hand.